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vCloud Director Console Session Browser Plugin issue resolved

 

Browser vendors have updated their browsers to disable NPAPI plugins which Vmware use in vCloud Director 5.x to open the console session to the individual Virtual Machines.   There is a solution to this, so you can open virtual machines directly from the browser, without having to have a very old version of Firefox installed

This solution was tested on the latest firefox at the time of writing 53.0.3

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Windows Server 2016 – What is Storage Spaces Direct?

Storage Spaces Direct enables the use of locally attached storage drives to create high-available and scalable storage at a small cost compared to traditional SAN or NAS technology.

It essentially will allow administrators to create a highly available storage solution using the local disks of clustered server nodes, accessed over Ethernet, and manage this at the operating system layer, bringing the controller technology of storage devices such as SANs to the operating system. The storage pools that can span across multiple servers, configured by the operating system will include cache, tiers and resiliency. Storage Spaces Direct builds in fault tolerance, which means that your environment can continue to operate if a disk or even an entire node goes offline.

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Fixing a corrupt Navigation Pane in Outlook

A corrupt Navigation pane in Outlook can cause several issues with Outlook. Most common is the inability to open Outlook. You may see the following error:

Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. The file C:\users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst cannot be opened.

Note: Username and PST name will vary.

Furthermore, a corrupt navigation pane can cause other issues, such as errors accessing favourite’s folder in Outlook, and outlook preventing you from sending email, depending on the issue with the navigation pane.

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Meraki device changes to Repeater Mode

When adding a second, or additional Meraki device onto an existing network; or in the case of an already configured multiple-device wireless network, you may noticed that one of the device operates or switches into “Repeater Mode”.

If you are used to configuring multiple access points as gateways (preferred method), you may not immediately identify that one of the devices has changed into operating as a Repeater.

If you have not intestinally configured the device in this manner, and prepared the site for this kind of setup, you may find the device in repeater mode has trouble with connectivity, and drops users off the network, especially when there is a high amount of users / traffic. This will especially be evident if the devices do not have a strong signal between each other, often not such a major issue when the access points are both setup as gateways. Pushing all the traffic from one device, to another access point over wireless is obviously not an ideal scenario if Ethernet cable access is available.

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Active Directory Features in Windows Server 2016

This document will look at some of the new features of Active Directory on Windows Server 2016.

Active Directory levels

Windows Server forest and domain functional levels are updated in 2016. File Replications Services (FRS) which Server 2003 use to replicate SYSVOL and its folder contents will not work on Windows Server 2016. Organisations should therefore raise the functional of a domain to Windows Server 2008 or higher to ensure SYSVOL replication continues to work in future.

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Windows Server 2016 Nano Server

Microsoft have pushed the envelope of a minimal footprint server by introducing Nano Server. Nano Server is a completely headless installation with no local GUI or console, with no ability to install a server operating system on top of a Nano Server.

With organisation running more VMs on their hosts in private and public cloud scenarios, Microsoft have recognised that the large footprint of their traditional server operating systems was the high footprint for servers which often ran basic functions.

It has resulted in a stripped down server, efficiently capable of running a set of applications and services, without the overhead of the operating system itself. In addition to removing the user interface, Microsoft has left out features such as 32 bit compatibility as well as MSI support. So, you have a Server with no local login, 64-bit only support for applications and tools.

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RDS Graphics Performance in Windows Server 2016

With increasing internet speeds and more organisation moving their entire operating environment to the cloud, the demand to deliver solutions for graphics intensive applications on a remote desktop has never been higher.

RemoteFX

Microsoft has made some significant improvements and enhancements in this area. Firstly, using RemoteFX, RDS 2016 offers support for OpenGL 4.4 and OpenCL 1.1, required by modern graphics and 3D applications. Previously, RemoteFx only supported DirectX 11.1 and OpenGL 1.1

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Server 2016 RDS Personal-Session Desktops

Windows Server 2016 RDS will offer a new deployment model. Windows 2012 R2 had two options for RDS deployment; the first was Session-Based Desktop Deployments which is a Terminal Server based approach to RDS, the second Virtual Machine-Based Deployment where each user runs a dedicated virtual machine based on a client operating system (Windows 10 for example).

Personal Session Desktops has been introduced in Windows Server 2016. Essentially a hybrid of the two native deployment options in 2012 R2, it will enable VM’s running Windows Server 2016 to be assigned to specific users, similar to a VM-Based Deployment, however running a server-based operating system rather than client OS.

Why is this important?

Azure…. Personal Session Desktops allows cloud based desktops hosted in Azure to become a reality. By using Server 2016 Desktops with Desktop Experience feature (essentially turning the look and feel into Windows 10), you can now deliver a cloud based desktop over the Azure platform. As Azure cannot control Hypervisors and you cannot license clients in a VDI scenario, this was not previously possible.

SPLA licensing….. Microsoft does not allow SPLA licensing to be used for Windows client operating systems in a hosted delivery mode. However, with Server 2016 RDS deployed in Personal Session Desktops mode, SPLA licensing can be applied to the clients (as it is essentially a server OS).

Mobile Technology Usage – looking forward….

Mobile technology continues to rapidly evolve and this will have an ongoing impact on the delivery of IT services. With an increasing number of organisations adopting BYOD and CYOD strategies, it has become critical for IT Departments to understand changes in technology that will impact and drive individual’s preference and use of mobile devices. This article will highlight some usage estimates and identify 7 expected changes that will impact individual using mobile technology over the next 5 years…

Table 1 highlights some key findings in this area. The complete report can be found here:
http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/mobile-white-paper-c11-520862.html

 

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Table 1: Adapted from the Cisco VNI Mobile Forecast (Cisco, 2016)

7 Expected Changes that may impact an individual using smartphone, tablet and IoT devices over the next 5 years…

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Exchange 2013 – Reseed a corrupt search catalogue

Issue

Microsoft Exchange search services are not functioning, and search results are not being displayed. On further investigation you see the following event being logged on the Exchange Server.

Event ID: 123
Level: Error
Source: ExchangeStoreDB

 

At <timestamp> the Microsoft Exchange Information Store Database <identity> copy on this server experienced a corrupted search catalog. Consult the event log on the server for other "ExchangeStoreDb" and "MSExchange Search Indexer" events for more specific information about the failure. Reseeding the catalog is recommended via the ‘Update-MailboxDatabaseCopy’ task.

The error suggests that there is a corrupt Exchange Search Catalogue.

Running the “ContentIndex State” and/or Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus may also highlight issues if it returns a result of anything other than “Healthy”…. such as “failed” or “unkown”

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